Why do we all have to pay?

I was watching the news this morning and a story came on about a French woman who had killed 8 of her newborn babies by wrapping them in plastic. The reason? She didn’t believe in birth control so she had to kill the babies she didn’t want.

What struck me is that everyone saw this as an isolated case – which is exactly how it should be seen. It isn’t representative of French culture or customs. But then I wondered what the reactions would have been if the woman had been a French Muslim. Probably people would have started wondering what in Islam made her do this; what in the Qur’an justifies this; and what is Islam’s stance on birth control anyway? If she had been Arab it would have been even worse: why are Arabs so brutal and violent? Something like this would never happen in the civilized world. If only Arabs would let go of their barbaric traditions and beliefs, such as infanticide and not using birth control.

Why is it that when one Muslim does something, we all have to answer for it? Why do I have to explain honour killings and polygamy? I don’t believe in either of those things that are practiced by a minority of Muslims, and yet I seem to be judged based on things like that a lot.

The media has really made it so that Muslims appear to be this monolithic whole that are responsible for each other and think alike. It’s really starting to get annoying. Why can’t honour killings be seen as isolated incidents? Why are they seen as representative of a whole people and religion?  Grrrr!


16 thoughts on “Why do we all have to pay?

  1. First of all, what a heartbreaking story. How anyone could harm a baby is beyond me.
    Second of all totally agree, actually I think it would have been worse had it been a non-Arab muslim – some media LOVE it when European Muslims do something like that. I mean it can’t be their European side apparently can it? Therefore, Islam can turn anyone evil and uncivilized. You see this in cases where converts want to become bombers.

  2. Honor killing may be practiced by a minority, but the fact of the matter is that in many supposedly Muslim countries, the law either condones this type of behavior or turns a blind eye to it. And the traditional tribal culture present in these places even demands honor killings and other forms of abuse for certain types of ‘offenses’.

    Even in non-Muslim countries it can be a problem, because in court, the criminals will try to portray it as a crime of passion instead of what it really was: cold, premeditated murder which the criminal continues to view as ‘having done the right thing’. Sometimes an underage relative will be coerced into performing the deed, since they will get less jail time.

    That having been said, even jail won’t work, because it will be viewed as a form of martyrdom, of sacrifice for the cause. Not to mention cause to fan the flames of hatred for those infidels who have no sense of morality or honor and refuse to respect ‘their customs’. But if they manage to avoid jail, then they feel smug that they have managed to screw over the legal system prevailing in Dar al-Harb.

    And many Muslims are reluctant to speak out against fellow Muslims in public, even if they personally don’t agree – not to mention that if they don’t agree and are actually living in these tribal cultures, it could even be dangerous to speak out.

    On the other hand, what tribal culture is going to listen to someone from outside? It will even be a problem if the outsider is a Muslim – because foreign converts are often viewed with suspicion in such circles. Especially if they are female. So the result is that far too little is being done about it.

    • I agree that honour killings are present in Muslim communities – but like I said, why do I have to explain or justify it? I have never asked my Christian friends to justify something a minority of Christians are doing or my Jewish friends to justify something a minority of Jews are doing – EVEN if it is in Jewish law.

      Besides, most Muslim countries are corrupt so I wouldn’t look at their legal systems as a sign of what Islam should be. Egyptian “shariah” is the last place I would ever look for an understanding of Islamic law.

      “And many Muslims are reluctant to speak out against fellow Muslims in public, even if they personally don’t agree.”

      100% true and I think completely understandable. Muslims are constantly in the spotlight – usually being attacked – so yes, it is not so easy for us to criticize our own religion anymore because we’re sick of other people doing it.

      ANd of course outsiders are viewed with suspicion – the natural outcome of colonialism.

      I personally always speak out against honour killings, but I don’t believe they are justified Islamically – I believe they are a cultural problem. But the minute I say that many non-Muslims stop listening because they WANT to hear that it is Islamic or are convinced they know better. And that’s where dialogue gets difficult.

  3. How horrific!
    I was looking for the news article that probably was written about this french woman who killed her children but got side-tracked by other stories about women killing their children.
    I’m in a state of shock! I know there are one to many cases of infanticide but alot of the times it’s due to postpartum depression or maybe just clinical depression. Sometimes its due to extended suicide (where the mother wants to commit suicide but doesn’t want to leave her children alone in the world) or even fear that her children will be taken away from them.
    But for whatever reason, you never really hear that a woman killed her child because of something that had to do with her religion. Like you said, if she was non-muslim, it no way linked to her religious beliefs but rather her psychological state. Such double standards when it comes to muslims and the rest of the world. We always get defined my our religion. Everything bad or disagreeable we say or do is a direct result of Islam. It’s so infuriating! They’re always looking for a way to demonize and generalize muslims and it just pisses me off so much, i could scream!

    • Exactly – we always get defined by our religion. I feel like the minute we say we’re Muslim they other person gets all these ideas about what kinds of people we are – without even knowing!

      And when a Muslim does something wrong why MUST it be because of Islam? Why can’t it be their own PERSONAL mistake? Grrrr!

  4. Also I was just thinking of all those serial killers who say they’re on a divine mission and were chosen by God (Jesus) to eradicate sinners from this world and EVEN THEN their actions are not defined by their religious belief but their psychological instability! even when its right there as their sole reason for killing, it’s no reflection on christianity but the individual whose the serial killer. Oh and those cases of people who do things to their children like beating them or baking them in the oven or microwave to “drive demons” out of them, or cases where people poke their eyes out or cut their hands off after reading verses from the bible where it says Matthew 5:29-30 “If your right eye offends you, [then] cut it off and throw it from you… If your right hand offends you, [then] cut it off and throw it from you.”
    EVEN THEN those people are classified as crazy and is no refelection on christianity!
    uughh i hate double standards. Then again who loves them?
    ok i think i’m done venting.

  5. As was done to the Catholics, the Irish, the Jews, the Chinese, Filipinos, the Japanese, Black people, women, and so on… Now it is the Muslims. This is the story of the immigrant, and the minority. If you read about immigration to America since the first Europeans came, every single time a new group came in large numbers that were not WASPs (White Anglo Saxon Protestant), they were treated in this same way. Some were subject to laws that did not allow them to marry White women, some were herded in to “camps” during WWII, and all were discriminated against because of the group they belonged to.

    Now it is the Muslim’s turn, and after this it will be another group.

    We never learn from our history, and we have been repeating it since Europe first colonized the American Indian’s land.

    I guess Europe is merely following in the same direction.

  6. I think Muslims suffer because Muslims who commit crimes are very stupid and use Islam to support their actions in the hope that they will be pardoned. I’ll give you an example … last Eid Al Adha an Emirati man raped a 4 year old Pakistani boy in the loo of a mosque – yes, loo of a MOSQUE. When he was arrested he first claimed he was a great Muslim – he had offered Eid prayers, recited 1/3 of the Quran after that and later visited the graves of all the relatives – he HAD to be pardoned for being pious. When this didn’t work he claimed it was – *drum roll* consensual sex! He again urged that he was IN a mosque because he was a good Muslim, see my Lord!

    When honour killings occur, the patriarchs always claim that Islam was being maligned by the victim – how dare she have sex/take off hijab/smoke/have boyfriends??!! When a man marries again (and again, and again, and again) he refers to the Quran and how it is his right.

    This woman never said Jesus whispered in her ear that she must kill her babies. She never referred to holy scriptures. There was no religious card that she played. Now if tomorrow she says that she doesn’t believe in contraception because of the Pope, then there will be a different story. So far she says she didn’t WANT it because of some previous bad experience with contraception.

    Most of Europe is not religious anyway. I think that is why we all have to pay all the time – because Muslims do use Islam as an excuse for their actions or sometimes misinterpret Islam to commit those crimes thinking they are serving their religion. In short we pay because most of us are not educated properly.

    • I do agree that most Muslims who do stupid things justify it with Islam, but so do many people of other religions. See Ikram’s comment above for example – yet when a Christian does it, it doesn’t reflect on all Christians or on Christianity. So I do think it is more about Islamophobia than about the fact that Muslims always use Islam to justify these things.

  7. When something like this happens and the person claims to be Christian or that Jesus told them to do it, I just brush her off as crazy and don’t pay much attention. I think the majority of Christians are this way. We simply don’t claim them because they don’t represent what we know to be true. (Killing babies is pretty cut and dried wrong.) Maybe if Muslims did the same – essentially ignoring the idiots AND the media that loves exploiting these things – the furor would die. We could hope anyway.

  8. At the baby killer: SPEECHLESS!

    Now for the honor killings, this is how I convince my fellow non-Muslims (I got a jubilee ten already) that it´is NOT Islamic no matter what some uneducated/with an agenda tto justify tribal customs Muslims might say.

    5 point plan to educate non-Muslims honor crime is not Islamic:

    1) Tell them to read the Qu´ran and bring you the quote where honor crime is mentioned. If they claim it’s too labour intensive go to Step 2.

    2) Ask them why so many pagan Arabs such as the Druze and even some Arab Christians commit honor crime. I even started collecting newspaper excerpts of this occuring. (much smaller space devoted but still there) There are also many Sikhs and Hindus commiting the same crime. I read somewhere (should have saved the website) about a Hindu girl found in the floating in a river. She had been thrown there by her father for marrying outside her caste. Last year a Palestinian Christian girl had been hit on the head with a heavy object and consequently killed by her father for marrying an Israeli same as an Egyptian Copt burned in her house for converting to Islam.

    3) Ask them when is the last time 15-18 century Germany, Italy and Britain had Sharia law? When they say never, inform them honor crime had been very prevalent in Europe at that time. Also bring evidence. There`s lots. This will show them it`s a result of being an undeveloped tribal society and not Islam.

    4) 76% of honor crimes in Muslim countries happen in Pakistan (where non-Muslims practice it too). The rest in the Middle East. Honor crime has NEVER taken place in Malaysia, Indonesia, black Muslim countries such as Somalia or European ones such as Bosnia (haven’t heard of it in the Maghreb now that I think of it)

    5) Tell them if it’s Islamic like male circumcision is then why doesn’t every Muslim practice it.

    Use this 5 point plan for clitoridectomy too.

    Btw, an answer to why many born Muslims outside the culture where honor crime takes place don’t speak out is in my opinion because they simply don’t KNOW. A Moroccan friend neearly choked on her tea when I told her about clitoridectomy. She was like: “No way girl, I’m Muslim and I never went through it.” Took her 2 days to believe it. Now she campaigns against it.

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